This book focuses on a class of single-channel noise reduction methods that are performed in the frequency domain via the short-time Fourier transform (STFT).
The simplicity and relative effectiveness of this class of approaches make them the dominant choice in practical systems.
Even though many popular algorithms have been proposed through more than four decades of continuous research, there are a number of critical areas where our understanding and capabilities still remain quite rudimentary, especially with respect to the relationship between noise reduction and speech distortion.
All existing frequency-domain algorithms, no matter how they are developed, have one feature in common: the solution is eventually expressed as a gain function applied to the STFT of the noisy signal only in the current frame.
As a result, the narrowband signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) cannot be improved, and any gains achieved in noise reduction on the fullband basis come with a price to pay, which is speech distortion.
In this book, we present a new perspective on the problem by exploiting the difference between speech and typical noise in circularity and interframe self-correlation, which were ignored in the past.
By gathering the STFT of the microphone signal of the current frame, its complex conjugate, and the STFTs in the previous frames, we construct several new, multiple-observation signal models similar to a microphone array system: there are multiple noisy speech observations, and their speech components are correlated but not completely coherent while their noise components are presumably uncorrelated.
Therefore, the multichannel Wiener filter and the minimum variance distortionless response (MVDR) filter that were usually associated with microphone arrays will be developed for single-channel noise reduction in this book.
This might instigate a paradigm shift geared toward speech distortionless noise reduction techniques.